Johnston County Schools CRT Policy Is Inadequate, Group Says

Johnston County Public Schools adopted a policy amendment Tuesday night to reportedly ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 classrooms. Some say the two sentence amendment to an existing policy doesn’t go far enough.   

School officials contend CRT is not being taught in classrooms, but one county commissioner disagrees.

Area Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Pearce reads an amended policy to the Johnston County Public School Board on July 13, 2021. JCPS video screenshot

Citizen Advocates for Accountable Government (CAAG) had over 110 people protesting outside the JCPS Central Office before the board meeting.  About 10 people gathered in the parking lot in support of CRT.

Dr. David Pearce, Area Assistant Superintendent, presented an amendment to Policy 5100 – Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct for all JCPS employees.   The amendment stated, “Instructional staff and other school system employees will not utilize methods or materials that would create division or promote animosity amongst students, staff, and the community. Staff shall not teach social theories outside of the North Carolina standards of any kind to students unless approved by the North Carolina State Board of Education and legislated by the North Carolina General Assembly.”

Board member Ronald Johnson said the amended policy was inadequate.  He submitted a draft copy of a policy he created asking it to be approved instead. “The policy I think it is far more effective, superior and addresses a lot more in specific nature.”  

The board declined to adopt Mr. Johnson’s policy but said it would be reviewed during a Policy Committee Meeting scheduled for July 15th.  Afterwards, the school board voted and adopted the Policy 5100 amendment.

Johnston County Schools must adopt a CRT policy to receive full funding this year from Johnston County Commissioners.  Commissioner Fred Smith of Clayton has spearheaded efforts.  The school system has received $72 million to operate during the 2021-2022 fiscal year, but could receive an additional $7.9 million if they implement an acceptable CRT Policy.

Over 110 people gathered outside the JCPS Central Office July 13, 2021 to protest against the teaching of CRT.

“That policy is nothing but a band aid.”
Dale Lands, co-founder of CAAG said the policy adopted by the school board is inadequate.  “That policy is nothing but a band aid.  It’s not a policy. It’s just an amendment. They need to make a real policy and address the root issues. What they did last night was nothing. It was them trying to power grab that money.”

Lands said he has reviewed Johnson’s proposed CRT policy and feels it goes farther than what was adopted Tuesday. “I have looked at Ronald Johnson’s policy. The framework is okay. It still needs some work and some time spent on it. But on the surface it is good. It needs a little more added to it, what Texas and Ohio and Phil Berger came out with. Some of that language needs to be put into one at the county level.”

Lands said he has been in touch with Johnston County Commissioners today and has indicated CAAG members don’t believe the school board policy is sufficient.

“I don’t understand why they keep dragging this out.”
County Commissioner Chairman Chad Stewart said, “Once again, as I’ve said in meetings, I don’t want teaching of theories, of Critical Race Theories, in our school system. Our board has made it clear they want a satisfactory policy but they don’t seem to want to deal with it. I’m not sure it will be adequate. It will be up to my board to determine.”     

“We have 15 failing schools.  Let’s get the ABC’s and 123’s right,” Stewart added, indicating the majority of citizens want a CRT policy adopted and the school board refocused on classrooms and student performance.

“You’ve got 117 people out there (wanting a CRT policy) and 10 on the other side.  Just create the policy. Make it a policy number. It’s not that hard. Just do it. That’s what 99 percent of the county is looking for. I don’t understand why they keep dragging this out. Clearly the overwhelming majority of teachers don’t want to teach it. Parents don’t want it taught.  It’s not something we need to be pushing on school kids,” Chairman Stewart said.

Commissioner Fred Smith did not see Tuesday’s school board meeting and said he wanted to review what they adopted before making a statement about the policy. However, Mr. Smith said several individuals have contacted him saying CRT is in fact being taught in Johnston County Schools. 

“I am not going to spent taxpayers money teaching divisive theories in Johnston County Schools. I for one am not going to support it. It is nothing but indoctrination not education,” Commissioner Smith told The Johnston County Report.

Commissioner Chairman Stewart said discussion of the school board CRT policy is not on the agenda for their next meeting, Monday, July 19th, but he did not rule out it being brought up for discussion. 

13 COMMENTS

  1. And where is Ronald Johnson’s policy? He said he wanted it attached to the agenda online. It isn’t. He hasn’t posted it to any of his social media accounts. Since it’s not linked in this article I’m assuming he hasn’t released it to the news. Did he just show it to his supporters?

    Once again, he’s all show trying to drum up election points.

  2. Yet again the board drags their feet hoping the citizens will go away so they don’t have accountability. We are not going away and an appropriate policy will be written.

    Deferring to the state board standards basically is stating they will teach CRT since the new (weak) standards allow for it to be taught.

  3. Shame on you Jocoreport! This was a planned protest by the anti-CRT folk so of course they had more people there. But 100 to 10, not true. I was there.

  4. And yet, not a SINGLE PERSON cares that CRT *is* being taught at JCC and the JoCo commissioners recently approved $MILLIONS in funding for JCC. #hypocrites #doubleStandard #voteOutIncumbents

  5. Oh noooo!!! White people don’t want them or their loved ones to hear the actual history behind our nation!!! If everyone’s so anti CRT, are we just going to keep teaching other lies, such as America was discovered by a white man? As someone who graduated from Clayton High School in 2012, I will be the first to tell you that all curriculum is absolutely white washed. I didn’t know it then, but I do now! It’s time to start telling the truth – and the truth begins with CRT. Sincerely, a white irish woman.

  6. Only it isn’t taught. As a Social Studies teacher, I teach the standards. I’m leery of both the far left and the far right pushing their agendas into our schools and interfering. Just let the teachers teach without this politically motivated boogeyman scaring people to further distrust public schools. I also have no use for Ronald Johnson. The guy simply grandstands, as if he’s trying to build up a base as a means to further his political career. I get the sense that he could care less about public education.

  7. Perhaps this group could b more effective advocating for schools if their protest signs had the correct spelling of the word “agenda”. Instead of “agenga????

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